Calif. Allows Human-Animal Marriage?

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Human-Animal Marriage Okay in California?

California Allows State-Recognized Human-Animal Marriage
Netlore Archive: Viral article claims a little-known California law makes marriages between humans and animals legal and binding in the state. NationalReport.net

The widely circulated sartical article about California allowing marriage between humans and animals was taken as truth by some.This case is a good example of what has come to be known as "fake news."

 

Circulating since: Nov. 2013
Status: False (details below)

Example:
Via NationalReport.net, Dec. 3, 2013:

California Allows First-Ever State Recognized Human-Animal Marriage

San Francisco, CA — On Monday history was made at the Chapel of Our Lady at the Presidio in San Francisco as the first-ever state recognized human-animal marriage took place.

Local resident 35-year-old Paul Horner was the groom during the ceremony. Joining him was his faithful dog Mac who is 36-years-old in dog years. Mac also decided to be the groom but ended up wearing a white veil at the last moment.

- Read Full Text -

Analysis

If you've seen the above article before, you probably encountered it on any number of cut-and-paste blogs that replicate material from other sites — often without attribution, making it all the more difficult to judge its authenticity — but in this case the text actually originated on a satirical website called National Report.

As the site's disclaimer page clearly states, "All news articles contained within National Report are fiction and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental."

The article is a none-too-subtle spoof on reactionary attitudes toward same-sex marriage, the legalization of which in certain states, including California, has been met with the argument that it's a slippery slope to legalized polygamy, parent-child marriage, or even interspecies marriage. For satirical purposes, National Report has taken the argument to its logical extremity. Incredibly (or not, depending on how jaded the Internet has made you), some readers have misinterpreted the article as factual.

A Poor Parody of Legalese

The supposed 1850 California law making human-animal marriage legal, identified as "article 155, paragraph 10" of "the book of California’s State Laws and Regulations," doesn't exist (if you don't believe me, go to California Codes and try looking it up yourself).

Indeed, if any law as anachronistic and laughable as the following (directly quoted from the National Report article) ever had been on the books, it would have been nullified long before now:

If a man and a man can get married and a woman and a woman can get married, if ever comes that day, then a human and animal will have the exact same rights to marriage in every eye of the law. God help us if this ever is to happen!

What foresight!

In any case, it's a poor parody of real legalese, which, though sometimes inscrutable, tends to eschew editorial comments and stick closer to the point. Here, for example, is how California's actual law prohibiting interracial marriages read in 1933:

All marriages of white persons with negroes, Mongolians, members of the Malay race, or mulattoes are illegal and void.

The law underwent various minor changes (mainly in the form of adding more ethnic categories with which members of the Caucasian race were forbidden to intermarry) between 1850, when it was enacted, and 1948, when it was repealed, but there was never any language in the statute that attempted to justify the prohibitions with a "slippery slope" or any other kind of argument.

According to a Wikipedia article on the subject, human-animal marriage is not recognized in law by any country on earth, "although attempts to marry animals have been recorded." Among the species with which such attempts have been made, allegedly, are dogs, cats, horses, snakes, dolphins and cows.

Helpful Info

Don't Be Fooled! A Guide to Fake News Websites